A basemap on your GPS navigation unit is highly recommended. It is a basic set of map data that comes included when your purchase your device. The increase in your unit’s usefulness is substantial, and the additional cost to you is marginal. A base map is built into your GPS device and cannot be removed. It is intended to be used for areas where you have not yet loaded detailed map data into your GPS unit’s memory. The specific information which is included in a basemap varies. Basemaps range from those including only major highways, towns and major landmarks, to large and detailed databases that are very useful and comprehensive right out of the box. The level of detail available in a typical base map shows highways, interstates and major roadways, but smaller local roads are not generally included in the typical base map.
Driving directions can be incredibly useful, so consider this feature in a higher end device. You may want to add to or update the basemap with additional free or purchased maps to make your GPS device truly useful. Basemaps may be updated and enhanced via purchased CDs, downloads from Web sites, or via purchased software and memory cards for GPS or additional cartography that have map and other data already in place.